Current Affairs
Carnival helps young man with autism believe in himself

A young man, aged 24 who is autistic, has found a great way to express his artistic talents through the building of a carnival float. For Fletcher Cini, Carnival is the best time of the year, because he can demonstrate his skills by building a float almost completely by himself, helped by his father, Jesmond.

Carnival holds a special fascination for Fletcher Cini who since he was little, has always expressed his enthusiasm during the defile which is held each year. Because of his condition, Fletcher finds it difficult to communicate properly and building a float provides him with an important way of expressing himself.

Jesmond says, “although he has special needs and autism, he is very good with papier-mâché and stone, and is extremely skilled with his hands. All I have to do is create part of the structure, and when I come I find it covered and completely ready.”

Like many other float-makers, Fletcher is very busy getting his float ready and his greatest satisfaction is seeing the finished product.

Fletcher said, “I love Carnival and this is what I like doing best.”

His father said that he wishes his son had the opportunity to keep learning more about this skill. He said that making these floats has helped his son greatly.

Jesmond said, “He has learned a lot, it has helped him to develop, he still has a way to go but he has improved a lot.”

At the moment, those building the floats are hard at work at their various warehouses at St Elmo and Marsa, getting ready to compete in the different categories. Apart from the floats, work is in full swing on the sewing of the elaborate costumes which are a sight to behold for all those who follow the dance routines during Carnival.

Carnival this year will take place between 28 February – 5 March.